Zeev has an excellent point here, my own research shows that 5.4, a
year after release had somewhere in the 2% adoption rate. The major
reason being is the lack of a stable, production ready op-code cache.
To release 5.5 without a good solution for that problem, would not
make the situation better, if anything it would make it very
intimidating to users to jump 2-3 versions directly to 5.6. Thus
leaving us with a massive user base running legacy, unsupported
versions containing unresolved bugs and vulnerabilities. Something,
which I don't think would be a very good thing for the future of PHP.

Ultimately, I think it is better to wait a month or two (if that is
what it takes) and have a solid release people can safely upgrade
their production environments to, rather than strictly adhere to a set
release cycle and delivery a partial solution.
On Thu, Feb 28, 2013 at 5:21 AM, Zeev Suraski wrote:
-----Original Message-----
From: Pierre Joye
Sent: Thursday, February 28, 2013 12:17 AM
To: Rasmus Lerdorf
Cc: Ferenc Kovacs; Zeev Suraski; PHP Developers Mailing List
Subject: Re: [PHP-DEV] [VOTE] Integrating Zend Optimizer+ into the PHP

Now, about the yearly release, every single person I talked to love it
and want us
to keep with this cycle, as well as the more frequent bugs fixes
releases. One
thing we have to slightly change is to push too many new features in each of
them, but we will get there.
I'm not sure how many people you've spoken to and what their profile is,
but reality shows a very different picture:

481004 PHP/5.2.17
280342 PHP/5.3.8
271156 PHP/5.2.6-1+lenny16
146342 PHP/5.2.9
133818 PHP/5.2.6
125550 PHP/5.3.10
109513 PHP/5.2.6-1+lenny13
106320 PHP/5.2.5
102412 PHP/5.2.14
81221 PHP/5.2.6-1+lenny9

These are the top-10 most popular PHP 5.x versions out there. PHP 5.4.x,
in case you're wondering, shows up on the 44th place, with a bit over 20K
deployments worldwide (5.4.11).
With yearly release cycles, we may make the lives of a few users more
enjoyable and with more rapid access to new features; But for the vast
majority, we're actually making lives worse:

1. Framework & app developers can't really rely on new features anyway,
since nobody has those new versions installed. Just two years ago -
aiming for PHP 5.3 seemed like a bold move for ZF2 and Sf2 - and that's
even though PHP 5.3 brought some revolutionary features to the mix (which
5.4 and 5.5 do not). We've also heard the Wordpress way of thinking, and
we can assume that it'd take many years before other apps feel comfortable
requiring a higher version than 5.3.x as a prerequisite.
2. Users who want to stay secure have to constantly upgrade, since support
lifetimes have been trimmed down substantially (effectively, 3 years from
release; and considering nobody upgrades on to an x.y.0 version, it's
typically way less than that). We can already project that based on the
current frequency, people who install PHP 5.4 today will have less than
two years-worth of lifetime before they're forced to upgrade, or be left
3. For the ecosystem in general, we're creating lots of fragmentation.

All in all, I think the people who like the yearly release cycle are first
and foremost bleeding edge individual developers, and not people who are a
part of larger projects, or that actually have to worry about production
apps working uninterrupted.


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